The entrance of thy words giveth
light; it giveth understanding
unto the simple.
The following Bible study was prepared to explain the plan of salvation in a simple, one-lesson condensed form with a teacher to guide discussion, or by self-study. If desired, it can be divided into two parts by taking a short break between each of two 30-minute sessions.A recommended place for a break is after the section “Into The Gospels.”
Each participating student should have a copy of the study along with
a Bible (preferably the King James Version) and a pen or pencil.As each scripture is read, the student is asked to become involved, sometimes
by completing a “fill-in-the-blank” or responding to a question.Additional comments and supplementary scripture references (designated throughout the text by small numerals in parenthesis) are provided on page 14 for further in-depth study at a later time.
May we also suggest that all participants take a moment to ask the Lord’s help in understanding his Word, as King David once did when he prayed, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” May God bless you as we travel together “into His marvelous light.”
“Ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” — 1 Peter 2:9
When walking out of a dark room into the sunshine, light can be blinding. As our eyes become accustomed to the light, we can see more clearly and enjoy the scenery that surrounds us. Likewise, when we look into the light of the Scriptures, the brightness of truth can sometimes hurt. However, as our spiritual eyesight becomes adjusted we can enjoy “walking in the light.”
This Bible study is designed to allow us to “walk” in the marvelous light of the Word of God.We will be journeying into the Scriptures by imagining we are back in the days of Jesus and the Apostles, listening to them teach and preach the plan of salvation. In order to do this, we will be careful to “rightly divide the word of the truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) by concentrating on the highlights of the three main divisions of the New Testament in chronological order, including:
1. THE GOSPELS
Covering the words and works of Jesus Christ
2. THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
Covering the actions and preaching of the Apostles
3. THE EPISTLES
Covering the letters written by the Apostles to the churches they started in the Book of Acts
We believe the Scriptures are divinely inspired and “of no private interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20,21).Therefore, every effort has been made to present the pure Word of God without adding to it or taking away from its teachings (Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:5,6). It is not our intention to diminish any personal relationship you may have with our Lord. Neither do we desire to convince you of our own personal ideas or the creeds of any denomination.We simply desire to share the truth as it is written. Only by claiming the Bible as our sole authority can any of us be confident of our salvation, for it is the Word of God and not the traditions of men that will judge us all in the end.
Let us read 2 Timothy 3:15,16 as we begin our journey into the Word of God…
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
The _____________, which was in the beginning, and was God, became flesh. Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God.
If we believe in Him and receive Him, Jesus gives us power to become the sons of _____________ by a supernatural birth. He spoke further about this new birth one night to a ruler of the Jews…
The Lord told Nicodemus that everyone who wanted to see or enter the kingdom of God must be born again of _____________ and the ______________.
Jesus also told Nicodemus that whosoever ____________ in Him shall have eternal life. Jesus mentioned two seemingly different requirements for salvation, one is being born again, the other is believing.Yet, this is not a contradiction.The next scripture explains how believing is related to experiencing the birth of the Spirit.
Here we discover that if we believe on Him we will receive his ______________. We find that scriptural belief is more than just a change in the way we think. It also results in a scriptural experience. Faith motivates us to obey and obedience brings God’s acceptance and blessing.
John 12:35,36 & 42,43
Today , just as in Jesus’ day, many believe on Him. But, they will not _______________ Him for fear of what others will do or say.
In response to their fearfulness, Jesus warns that His ____________ will judge us, so we must be careful not to reject it. Rather, we should believe and obey it…no matter what others say or do!
In Jesus’ prayer for His disciples, just before His crucifixion, He said God’s Word is _____________. He also prayed for us; and all those who would believe on Him through the Apostles’ word.
To find out what the Apostles’ message was to be, let us read what Jesus told them to proclaim.The setting of the following great commission scripture in Luke 24:45-49(3) is just after the Lord’s death, burial and resurrection, and just before His ascension into heaven.
“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,And said unto them,Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
Did the Apostles preach the message Jesus commanded them to proclaim?
How was the promise of the Father fulfilled?
Let us continue our journey into the Word of God by seeing what was preached and what happened at Jerusalem…
THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
As we enter the Book of Acts, we discover almost immediately that the promise of the Father is the baptism of the _______________ ________________.
When the Apostles were at Jerusalem, they, along with many others, were joyously filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other _____________ as the Spirit gave them utterance, (the inspiration
to speak).The amazed onlookers from many nations who heard them speaking with tongues asked,“What meaneth this?”Then Peter explained the promised coming of the Spirit and went on to preach Christ and the original apostolic plan of salvation.
When the people who heard Peter’s words believed that Jesus Christ was their Lord and Savior,they were sorry for their sins and asked Peter and the Apostles what they should do.Peter replied by preaching the message Jesus commanded to be preached in Luke 24:45-49.In light of this,con-sider the three elements of the plan of salvation Peter preached in verse 38:
2. Remission of sins through baptism in Jesus’ name
3. Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost
Now,let’s look at other examples of people being born again of water and the Spirit as the Word Jesus gave His apostles continued to be preached throughout the Book of Acts…
Philip preaching to the samaritans in Acts 8…
Some people say when they experienced joy, or when they believed in Jesus, or when they were baptized, they were automatically filled with the Holy Ghost, but what does the Word say?
Did they have great Joy?
Did they believe in Jesus Christ?
Were they baptized in His name?
yes ___ no ___
yes ___ no ___
yes ___ no ___
Did they receive the Holy Ghost as a separate and
distinct experience? yes ___ no ___
Peter preaching to the Gentiles in Acts 10…
Some people say being religious is enough, or that Spirit baptism evidenced by tongues was only for the Day of Pentecost. If the Bible says this is true, then it is true. But if the Word shows us through Cornelius’ experience that this is not true…then it is not.
Acts 10:1,2 Was Cornelius a religious man? yes ___ no ___
Acts 10:5,6(6) Did God have more for him to do? yes ___ no ___
Did they receive the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues after the day of Pentecost?
Did they still have to be baptized in Jesus’ name?
yes ___ no ___
yes ___ no ___
Paul preaching to John’s disciples in Acts 19… Many people who are believers have not even heard about the Holy Ghost that is promised to them.Also,some people say it is not necessary to
be baptized or rebaptized.(If you were baptized by John the Baptist, would you think it would be necessary to be re-baptized using a different baptismal formula?) Others say it does not matter what is spoken when you are baptized.If the Bible indicates it does not matter,then it does not matter.But what if the Bible shows us it DOES matter?
They were believers, but had they heard of or received the Holy Ghost?
Did those baptized by John the Baptist have to be re-baptized in Jesus’ name?
Was receiving the Holy Ghost accompanied by the initial evidence of speaking with other tongues?
yes ___ no ___
yes ___ no ___
yes ___ no ___
Now, let us read what the Apostles had to say about the message of salvation they proclaimed in the Book of Acts.We can do this by reading the Epistles (letters) they wrote to the converts.
As we read the Epistles, we will notice how strongly the Apostles felt about the gospel (good news) of salvation.This is not because they were being judgmental. It is because they knew the Word Jesus had given them to proclaim was going to judge all men.
What Did Peter Say?
“Ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth…being born again… by the word of God…and this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Peter 1:22-25).
Obedience to God’s Word purifies our souls!
“What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17,18).
“The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
It is eternally important to obey the gospel!
What Did Paul Say?
“But there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ, but though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:7-9)
There is only one gospel!
What Did James Say?
“Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer,
he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was” (James 1:21-24).
The Word is able to save our souls
James tells us that if we see something we need to do as we look into the “mirror of the word,” we should do it. Let us now consider what we will do with what we have heard…
DO YOU BELIEVE the Word of God is true and will judge us?
DO YOU BELIEVE Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior?
DO YOU BELIEVE it is necessary to repent by determining to turn from sin and giving your life to God?
DO YOU BELIEVE water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is the biblical way to be baptized?
DO YOU BELIEVE the baptism of the Holy Ghost is for you today, and when you receive it you will speak in other tongues,just as they did in the Bible?
If you believe these things, pray right now, asking God to allow you to experience all that He has for you!
(1) Matthew 7:13-24
God’s warning regarding false prophets,and the importance of being a doer and not just a hearer of the Word.
(2) Matthew 16:15-19
Peter was given the “keys of the kingdom”because of his revelation of who Jesus Christ was.
(3) Other “Great Commission” Scriptures
In Matthew 28:18-20 the word “name”is singular in this command to baptize.The Apostles obeyed this command when they baptized only in the name of Jesus,and did not use the titles mentioned here.(See Acts 4:12).Mark 16:15-18 stresses the importance of water baptism and describes the signs that will follow believers.
(4) Matthew 16:15-19
Peter,who was given the “keys of the kingdom,”uses them to open the “kingdom door”by preaching the original apostolic message of salvation for the first time.
(5) Acts 8:35-39
Philip must have mentioned baptism when he preached Jesus to the Ethiopian official because the Eunuch asked to be baptized in water. The Greek root word for “baptize”is bapto which literally means
“to cover wholly with fluid,to dip.”(See also Romans 6:3,4.)
(6) Acts 10:34-43
Peter preached the life and lordship of Jesus Christ as well as His death,burial and resurrection.
(7) 1 Peter 3:20,21
According to Peter,baptism is an essential part of the plan of salvation.
We encourage you to read through the Gospels, Acts and Epistles in detail…and continue to walk “into His marvelous light!”
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